Chesterfield Hotel – an abandoned, sorry sight

Chesterfield Hotel.
Chesterfield Hotel.

For almost 140 years, Chesterfield Hotel was a well-known and much-loved institution in the town.

It was the venue for countless parties – and a place where thousands of people became husband and wife.

Chesterfield Hotel is no longer producing happy memories, however.

It closed exactly six months ago – and the abandoned building looks a sorry sight.

Boards cover windows which have been smashed by vandals and signs state that the empty site is under constant security surveillance. The curtains are closed.

However, a Spanish businessman hopes to breathe new life into the prominent building.

Malcolm Aw, 68, is director of GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd, which operated the former hotel.

The company is still active and Mr Aw told the Derbyshire Times he would like to see the Malkin Street premises used by groups which aid vulnerable people.

One of those groups, he said, could be Livibility, which supports hundreds of disabled adults at care homes across the country.

Mr Aw became director of GS Trading VI (Chesterfield) Ltd after Daniel James O’Doherty resigned from the position on February 1.

Mr O’Doherty, 71, is still the sole shareholder of the firm, according to Companies House.

Both he and Mr Aw are also directors of Botleigh Grange Hotel in Southampton.

Forty-five members of staff lost their jobs when Chesterfield Hotel shut and workers are still waiting for unpaid wages and redundancy payouts.

Meanwhile, customers who were left out of pocket when the hotel’s leisure centre closed in April 2014 are also still awaiting refunds.

Mr Aw told the Derbyshire Times he had been making enquiries into what he called the “sordid affair”.

“I’m very sorry to learn of the way people have been left in the lurch,” he added.

He would not comment further.

“I will keep you apprised,” he said.

Mr Aw is also executive chairman of Waterleau Plc, a London-based company which aims to provide an “inexhaustible supply of fresh and pure drinking water”.

Chesterfield Hotel opened in 1877.

When it shut, a number of town leaders and residents expressed their sadness at the loss of one of Chesterfield’s longest-running businesses and a major employer.

The exact reason for Chesterfield Hotel’s closure has never been revealed – but Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins held urgent talks with representatives from the hotel in January to discuss financial problems.